The Period Tax - What is it?
The term "period tax" refers to the added cost that people who menstruate face due to the purchase of menstrual products such as pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. It is a gender-specific tax that only affects people who menstruate, and it is a pressing issue that affects people worldwide.
The period tax is often discussed in the context of "pink taxes," which refer to the higher prices charged for products marketed to women, despite being essentially the same as products marketed to men. In the case of menstrual products, the period tax is due to the fact that menstrual products are classified as luxury items and not as essential items.
This classification has a significant impact on the price of menstrual products, as essential items such as food, medication, and even condoms are tax-exempt in most countries. Meanwhile, menstrual products are subject to a value-added tax (VAT) or sales tax, which varies depending on the country. In some countries, the tax on menstrual products can be as high as 15-20%, which significantly increases the cost of these products.
This added cost puts an unnecessary financial burden on people who menstruate, especially those who are from low-income households or live in poverty. The cost of menstrual products can add up quickly, and for those who cannot afford them, this can lead to missed school or workdays, social isolation, and even health problems.
The period tax is a form of gender-based discrimination that disproportionately affects people who menstruate. Eliminating it is crucial in ensuring access to menstrual products and promoting gender equality. By eliminating the period tax, we can help ensure that everyone has access to the menstrual products they need, regardless of their income level, and help combat the stigma surrounding menstruation.